ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm that provides strategic guidance on compelling transformative technologies have released a recent report that outlines how technologies fit together with each other in Smart Manufacturing and identifies vendor challenges and solutions within the sector. The eight areas the report covers include additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, digital twins, edge intelligence, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms, and Robotics.
Within the manufacturing sector there has already been an increased adoption of IIot platforms and edge intelligence. Over the next ten years, it is expected that manufactures will start piecing together the other new technologies to eventually lead to a more dynamic factories less dependent on fixed assembly lines and immobile assets.
“Manufacturers want technologies they can implement now without disrupting their operations,” says Pierce Owen, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “They will change the way their employees perform jobs with technology if it will make them more productive, but they have no desire to rip out their entire infrastructure to try something new. This means technologies that can leverage existing equipment and infrastructure, such as edge intelligence, have the most immediate opportunity.”
With a transition towards a lights-out factory already in motion, the major disruption will require an overhaul of workforce, IT architecture, physical facilities and equipment and full integration of a number of new technologies including connectivity, additive manufacturing, drones, mobiles collaborative robotics, IIoT platforms and AI, according to the report.
The report also notes that the above technologies have already started to converge and that robotics provide a physical representation of this convergence. Their use of AI and computer vision and connect to IIoT platforms where their digital twins are located. This connectivity, along with AI, will increase in importance as more robots and technology join the assembly line and work alongside humans and each other.
ABI Research’s full report, titled Smart Manufacturing Transformative Horizon, is available to be read in full and is part of the company’s Smart Manufacturing research service. Back in May ABI Research released a report that predicts AR will struggle in the brick and mortar retail environment.
For more on ABI Research in the future, keep reading VRFocus.